Oklahoma gubernatorial election, 2002

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Oklahoma gubernatorial election, 2002
← 1998 November 5, 2002 2006 →
  BradhenryDEA.jpg Stevelargent.jpg
Nominee Brad Henry Steve Largent Gary Richardson
Party Democratic Republican Independent
Popular vote 448,143 441,277 146,200
Percentage 43.3% 42.6% 14.1%

County Results

Governor before election

Frank Keating

Elected Governor

Brad Henry

The Oklahoma gubernatorial election of 2002 was held on November 5, 2002, and was a race for the Governor of Oklahoma. Democrat Brad Henry won the election with 43 percent of the vote, beating Republican Steve Largent and conservative independent Gary Richardson.

Henry's narrow win has been attributed to Richardson and Largent's split of the conservative vote[1] and the inclusion of a cockfighting ban on the ballot, an issue which brought cockfighting supporters from Southeastern Oklahoma, a traditional Democratic stronghold that strongly supported Henry, out to vote.[1][2][3]


Though Democrats had dominated state politics for most of Oklahoma's history, the Oklahoma Republican Party had made historic gains, including five of the state's six Congressional seats.[4]


This election was extremely close, with Henry prevailing by just 6,866 votes or 0.6%. Under Oklahoma Law if the margin victory is less than one percent but greater than half a percent the losing candidate can request a recount that their campaign has to pay for. Largent ultimately decided against it, considering that because Henry won by 6,866 votes the possibility of him prevailing were extremely difficult. On November 23, Largent officially conceded defeat. Two days later on November 25, the Secretary of State of Oklahoma, Kay Dudley certified the results, declaring Henry the governor elect.

2002 gubernatorial election, Oklahoma
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Brad Henry 448,143 43.3
Republican Steve Largent 441,277 42.6
Independent Gary Richardson 146,200 14.1
Majority 6,866 0.6%
Turnout 1,035,620
Democratic gain from Republican Swing